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Thursday, December 30, 2004

JOY! I get to play electrical contractor to-day. Gotta replace the porch light.
The old one lasted seventeen years, but finally rusted away. I have a new one from Lowes. Call it "Early Brooding Sci-Fi Tech", stylistically speaking. It would look right at home in the police facility from "Escape From New York". It is quite stout.
I'll tell you about the sparks in awhile.


No pretty blue sparks! Everything worked swimmingly, even on an aluminium ladder!
I'll try to get a picture of my handiwork and put it up. I know that you will find it fascinating, because it is another thing that I do. >tongue firmly in cheek<
We have a lit front porch again. Hmmm...Maybe I can reduce my liability coverage.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Kick 'em off of our shores.
Let 'em see what stingy REALLY means.
Let the U.N. make the pizza runs without our dollars.
Oooooh. Is that mean-spirited?

Monday, December 27, 2004

Before his gentle readers go all Luther on his keister, let this Aardvark say that he is not giving a pass to things like homosexuality, adultery, or dealing from the bottom of the deck. Here is the baseline from which this discussion proceeds:

Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

As a rule, the church at the beginning of the twenty-first century seems to have, errrr, relaxed somewhat from Jesus' requirements of discipling and baptism. When the disciple finally confesses Christ, today one is more likely to hear "When's the next potluck?" (or "pot-bless" for the more superstitious amongst us) than to hear echoes of First century faith:
"...See, here is water; what prevents me from being baptized? (Acts 8:36)"

The testimony of the New Testament is clear.
God expects change.
God commands change.
God enables change.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

Note this: "And such WERE some of you..."

The person given over to sin is not given a pass...discipleship inevitably pins the tail to one's donkey and demands change. However, one CANNOT submit to discipleship until one is a DISCIPLE.

If we present the life-changing truth of the Gospel, according to the New Testament pattern, then we can begin again to see New Testament results. Nothing else will work.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

WHOA! The Aardvark's BACK!
I've missed being here, but I have been busier than I have EVER been before. Our screenprinting operation has mushroomed, and I have had to be a major squeegie-jockey to keep up. As I do NOT wish to hire outside of my household at this time (to avoid multiplied Imperial entanglements), we have maxed ourselves out, and are looking toward getting an automatic press to multiply our efforts.

No doubt you have heard of the Philadelphia Four, aptly appelled by Joseph Farah.
(Hi, Joe. How are you?)
These members of a "Christian Ministry" attended a homosexual rally, preached the Word of God in a peaceful and non combative way, and are facing 47-some-odd years in prison for their troubles. Hate speech. This is a hateful attack on First Amendment
rights, certainly. The preachers assert that "The early church preached in the open air, in the marketplace." That's as may be, and I do not agree with the prosecution of these guys, but neither do I agree with their tactics.

They are wrong.

How can a Christian of some 34 years standing say such a thing? How can I not stand in solidarity with my brothers?

Because they are wrong.

They are preaching against the EEEE-VILS of homosexual practise.

Yet they are still wrong. Wrong on at LEAST two counts. First, there is this whole "Christian Ministry" thing. God in Christ Jesus authorised ONE Christian ministry.

The local church.

Not Repent Now. Not the 700 Club. Not the Billy Graham organisation.Not even Focus on the Family.

The New Testament authorises only ONE Christian Ministry. The local church. Anything else is presumptive error. It may be a GREAT idea, but it is only man's idea, and is thus WA-A-A-AY less than God's best. Try actually READING the thing beyond your "Upper Room" devotional. All these "para-church" organisations are man's addition to God's Pattern, and will all ultimately be as successful as Uzzah was when he reached out to keep the Ark of the Covenant from tipping. He didn't play by the rules, either.

Second, they were doing theological bear-baiting. Back to New Testament authority for stuff: Not even Paul when confronted by the rampant idolatry of the Athenians, not EVEN Paul attacked these people. Acts 17 shows that Paul actually found a place of AGREEMENT with them, and proceeded from that point to teach them:

Acts 17:22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are very religious.
Acts 17:23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

Paul acknowledged their devotion, and THEN taught them. He did not quote anti-idolatry verses from Jeremiah at them. He did not wag the bony finger of indignation at them and intone:"You worship idols...YOU'RE GOIN' TO HELL!".

Paul met them on their turf, introduced them to the Creator God, and His Son Jesus Christ, and a local church was born. Athenians believed, were baptised and the work expanded.

Be very clear on this. Paul preached CHRIST.
The early church preached Christ, and Him crucified.

This must be understood. We must preach the answer which God has provided: the Good News of Jesus Christ. We must preach it from the platform God Himself has authorised: the local church. Not just in the building...certainly in the marketplace, but the message and the platform must be God's, else we will be doomed to failure.

Look at American Christendom after fifty-plus years of evangelism being dominated by
not-the-church organisations.

We're ALMOST as successful and unified as the Republican majority in Washington.

Monday, July 26, 2004

My sweet wife has earned a place with her "Quote of the Blog"
We were watching the march of anarchy in the streets of Boston, and she asked:

"How can Anarchists have a parade?"

Gad, it's been an awful, scary, maddening, overweeningly stress-filled month so far.

...But enough about ME...

I continue to be fascinated and alarmed by current trends in TV & Radio adverts.
I mean, they are REALLY awful. The most troubling angle from a business sense- and I was nurtured by the Freberg school of advertising- is that which is typified by the Progressive Insurance commercials. The template works like this:
Customer has a catastrophe.

Customer calls repairman.

Repairman stares disbelievingly at the scope of the problem, and wants to get to work.

Customer demands a quote from the repairman, including a quote from 3 competitors.

The catastrophe worsens.

Moral: OUR customers expect competitive quotes from their inquiries to us. They are SMART.

NO. The ULTIMATE message is: Our customers are STOO-PID.
That's what I get. AND, I do not wish to be lumped in with the cretinous rabble which apparently comprises the Progressive customer base.

Hello, little lizard...

Toyota has jumped aboard with THEIR latest ad campaign, with a Typical Married Male
who went out for milk, and was beguiled into buying not one, but TWO Toyotas, a sporty red car, and a black SUV. He proceeds to angst over how to tell his wife, when his REAL problem is how to get the two vehicles home. The helpful Toyota salesman has clearly NOT offered to assist by driving one vehicle for him, so the
hapless dupe must leapfrog the cars home: Milkboy drives the Red car a few yards beyond the Black SUV, then the SUV a few yards beyond the Red car. And so forth.

This commercial is an infinite sadness. I could go all Dobson on their keisters and decry the typical stupification of the American Husband on TV, but that is not my issue. The message I get is:

Toyota customers are STOO-PID.

The list goes on...

Monday, July 05, 2004

There was an interview years ago with the actor Ricardo Montalban. At some time
during the discussion he was asked (being the symbol of the early, Latin leading men of Hollywood), "How would you describe a great lover?" To this he replied, "A great lover is not a man who continually goes from woman to woman, for any dog in the street can do that.

No, a great lover is a man who can captivate and nurture the love of one woman
her entire life."

God bless Ricardo Montalban. I know that he is a believer in Christ, and that he is a man of integrity, besides being one of the three best things to hit the Trek franchise in its history.

My wife and I are headin' towards our 27th year. Thanks for giving us something concrete to shoot for!

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Stupid Blight CommunityStupid Blight CommunityStupid Blight Community

My youngest, Loen, said something that inaugurates our "Quote of the Blog".

"We need a white Bill Cosby."

Now, to be clear, ours is a VERY conservative household, and one in which ANY hint of racism is abhorred. When I was growing up, I autonomously arrived at the idea that the "N" word was as egregious a "cuss" word as "G--D---", and thus was not to be used. Period. Paragraph. BTW, I grew up in South Carolina.

It is from this background that the youngest son o' mine issued his pronouncement. We were discussing Cos's NAACP comments admonishing the black community to watch its collective mouth. Huzzah! God bless Bill Cosby.
Well played, Sir.

Hence my son's "Quote of the Blog".

And y'know...he's right.

So where does "Blight Community" come from?
It's the white kids who have learned their parents' liberal White Guilt, and have chosen to pretend that they are black by their dress code, mode of speech, and popular inattention to education. Yo, yo.

We need to be who we are, and be the BEST who we are that we can possibly be.

Monday, June 21, 2004

As much as I HATE them, I took yet another quiz.

take the "what's your dark secret?" quiz
| courtesy of mewing.net. where darkness and secrecy abound.

...so now we know!

5 posts per week. Yeah, right. Truthfully, we have had the most incredibly busy few weeks. Hugely busy.

We have been blessed. Our business has been re-directed into the whole anime (Japanese animation for the non-otaku reading this) arena. Mucho shirts, mucho dinero.

Amazing times. Again, we are blessed.

We are trying to handle this influx of biz, and are forced to triage our daily tasks.
We WILL be writing more regularly, so KEEP COMING BACK, please.


Meanwhile, I was tearfully moved by the funeral of President Ronald Reagan.
Death and I have an odd relationship. I don't DO death. I don't relate at all to the whole file-past-the-casket-doesn't-he-look-NATURAL thing. And I don't CRY.

My blood pressure dropped from the fluid loss during the Reagan funeral. No boo-hoos, no sobs. Just tears and tears and tears.

I loved Ronald Reagan. Based on what I know of his history, I fully expect to see him again. Clothed in the light of our Lord. I pray this is so.


Yet, during the service, I saw that the Clintons, prominently seated, were rather dozy-looking. Not to be snarky, but I'm not surprised. They were probably concentrating on potent eldritch wards to keep from bursting into flames...

Sunday, June 20, 2004

The Aardvark RETURNS!!!

I bought some cereal the other day. Not terribly GOOD cereal. Not fruity, not chocolatey, not coco-lossal.
Ok. I bought Fiber One bran cereal.


Now, to be fair, Fiber One- a General Mills product- is the tastiest of its ilk. Truth be told, this is like saying that THIS
is a tastier stick than THATone. It is sweetened with aspartame, and is a blend of wheat and corn brans. And it looks like twigs.


The thing that amuses me, though, is that this small 16 oz. box of cereal is uniquely packaged. It says a LOT about the marketers' expectations.
It contains two- count 'em- two 8 oz. sealed poly bags.

Guys, It's gonna take A-while to get through a box of Fiber One.


Monday, May 10, 2004

Hey, all you End-timers trying to immanentize the Eschaton...
Forget the Pope.
Kiss off Henry Kissinger.
Stress not over Skull and Bones.

Michael Eisner IS the Anti-Christ.

There. I said it. He and his miserific underlings at Disney have foisted yet another travesty upon the "family movie" faction. What's worse is that they had to import it from CANADA (and here I thought that the Sci Fi Channel was the holding tank for the Canadian tax-subsidized effluent that passes for programming now). What could drive me to such invective?

A Wrinkle In Time.

Madeline L'Engle approved the script, and all, but something got lost twixt script and screen. I know, big surprise. Meg is not mousy as in the book. She looks like she should be playing soccer or volleyball. She is less assertive...merely unpleasant. Charles Wallace is, OK, he's weird, like in the book, but also kind of HIP weird; not like the book, Using terms like "cool", rather than quoting from classical literature. The less said about Mrs. Who, Whatsit, and Which, the better. Alfre Woodard was charming, but the character was less like Broomhilda, and more like an afternoon chat host. That, and I couldn't get the fragging Borgs business out of my head. Shallow me.

And here's the kicker. The Happy Medium, an endearing, jolly WOMAN in the book, is played by a GUY. Apparently Canada has cross-dresser quotas in cinema, which fits with current Disney policy as well. Nicely played, but less dimensional than the book.

And I shout "HETEROPHOBES"! One of the sweetest moments in the book occurs when Calvin pulls Meg to him and kisses her before her last-ditch attempt to rescue Charles Wallace from IT's tendrils. Not in THIS version.

The best line in the whole book: "IT sometimes calls ITself the Happiest Sadist." Gone.

Jesus and the Buddha are lauded in the book as foes of the Dark Thing- almost like a Dr. Bronner's soap label. Not in THIS version. But they DID add Martin Luther King Jr. for the movie. As great a role as he played in the Civil Rights efforts of the 60's, MLK doesn't quite stack up to Jesus or Buddha.

Camazotz, the Bureaucratic Planet, came off well, but it had color. The Red-Eyed Man is like a possessed and tragically with-it Prof. Harold Hill. "IT" is more a system rather than a giant disembodied, bloated, pulsing brain, except, no, the whole PLANET is the giant brain: more gross than horrifying.

Oh, and there is a fair amount of marginal-at-best wire work for flying sequences.

Oh, OH. There is also CGI effects work. REBOOT was better. Much.

I have wanted a film version of A Wrinkle In Time.
A lot.
Billy Mumy would have been the PERFECT Charles Wallace. Alas.
If you want to see Wrinkle, fine.
See it in theater of your mind.
Read the book. I'm going to, again!

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Take the What High School
Stereotype Are You?

Gad, how accurate could it be? THIS WAS HIGH SCHOOL! (The gender is wrong, though. The USE of "gender" is wrong, too. It should be sex. DON'T GO THERE, filth-mind...)
Oh, the pain, the pain...
Bedtime....and here I am at a keyboard. No biggies yet. I'm still at work on my Major Concerns entries, as I want to be clear in making my points. Passion is good, but polemic does get in the way of reasoned discussion.

Just a preview, though. The Charismaniacs of today (as opposed to charismatics and classic Pentecostals) are all about 3 miracles before breakfast, and being unable to get through the day without God's direct intervention or "leading". Yet, frankly, as one who operates Biblically in spiritual gifts, I have a great deal of puzzlement. For all the foofooraw about present-day miracles, healings, and "signs following", I have YET to hear of a single documented case of an eyeless man receiving sight, a legless woman becoming mobile, an armless child receiving new limbs. NOTHING of New Testament proportions; all "hidden healings": my headache's gone. The pain in my back is diminished. I will not deal with leg-lengthening parties, save that I find NO evidence of these methodologies in the New Testament.

A definitive picture of the correct "use" of spiritual gifts follows
And he (Jesus) said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. Mark 16:15-20

(Note that "them" is italicised. It does not appear in the Greek text, so a more accurate reading would be:

"And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.")
My concern is- and I hold the Dispensational doctrines of Darby and Scofield as error to rival the Gnostic heresy of the early church- my concern is that if signs are not confirming what we are preaching, then does God not consider what we are preaching to be worthy of confirmation?

How does the preaching of the Church at the beginning of the 21st Century measure up to the apostolic preaching of the New Testament? I believe our message is weighed in the balance, and found wanting.
The Gospel has been changed.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Of course, Vox, the REAL question is...
If I continue to use Heinz ketchup, am I betraying my libertarian ideals?
Although, since I have not yet switched cards at the courthouse, as a Republican,
I should probably be using Hunts.
But it's just not as good.
It's all a choice of "good" vs "adequate".

Monday, April 19, 2004

Instant Answers

I came to Christ in the '70s on the twin waves of "the Late Great Planet Earth" and the Charismatic Movement. Interesting that much in the two waves are doctrinally incompatible. Early on I began to view with interest the shortcuts people sought to fast track them to discipleship and spirituality. Ern Baxter spoke of people practicing "Bible Promise Card Ouija Board". You know those plastic loaves of bread with colored cards in the top with Bible verses printed on 'em. Grandma and hosts of maiden aunts had them on the kitchen table. You pick a card, and that is your inspiration of the day.

Some folks decided that it was a neat way to "get guidance", so they'd pick a card...any card, and Hey Presto, it's God's message to YOU today! One guy got a loaf with an out-of-the-ordinary selection of verses. He picked his verse for the day:

Matthew 27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

Shaken, he decided a do-over was in order, and pulled

Luke 10:37 Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
Hmmmmmmm...Instant guidance.

Now, I do not dispute that God can pin the tail on our donkey with a single verse, but by and large, proof-texting, the practice of pulling individual verses out to prove our particular opinion, is a dangerous and deceptive habit. The normative method is discipleship in the Word.

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. ("Study" here being King James for "apply yourself") The book of Acts is a powerful narrative, but it is not the "three miracles before breakfast" story that many portray it to be.
When the disciples in Jerusalem met from house to house, it wasn't for the Thursday night Cough and Spew deliverance meeting, nor to determine their spiritual gifts by studying their personality types. The disciples "continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Acts 2:42 They were learning the Gospel, and practicing it day-to-day in the community of other believers. Not alone over the kitchen table pulling cards 'til they got the right answer.

Many believers today seem more intent on spiritual masturbation...solitary forays into spiritual self-gratification, rather than active, vital learning to live the faith with others. Fellowship offers a failsafe mechanism against error.

1 John 1:5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
1 John 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Interestingly, our society militates against our getting together outside of "church-time" to encourage each other, by all the busy-ness we are forced to endure (much to feed the tax monster). I often work long, late hours at my shop. It is a JOY when a brother or sister comes by to say "Hi!", and we share a bit of the Word relevant to what's goin' on. I hunger for that. Here of late, Rush and Co. are being replaced by New Testament CDs as I print. Massive quantities of the Word are helpful inoculants against the predations of the world. Now, I am not becoming a monk or anything. I play games, watch movies, laugh with my wife and kids. But it is all empty without the Word of God.

I'm SO tired of empty.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Sweet Sarah, and others...I just want you to know that the mmmmm...flavor of the blogs at the end of March do not reflect my normal mode of expression (the SDA entry, as well as the Carwash blog).
I was tweaked by the nastiness of what I read/ heard and knew of no other way to adequately express my
upsetment than by accurate reportage of terms used. I must admit that the image of Angela Anaconda
berating Ninnypoo thusly in an ad DID give me a giggle.

Anyway I want my Gentle Readers to know that cayenne pepper is not often used in my homilies.

The habanero of satire, on the other hand...

Gentle readers, I apologize for abandoning you. We have just gone through Perdition Month.
This is MY "Christmas season", business-wise. As screenprinters, we are called upon to print ball uniforms for
Summer league play. Just when you think the world may be sane after all, Ball Season happens.
On top of which we had two conventions on the same weekend: an anime Con in Nashville (MTAC)

MTAC Go! April 1st - 3rd in Nashville, Tennessee

and CoastCon in Biloxi, MS.

CoastCon - Home Page

Momoovark (My sweet wife) and Loen our 13-year-old went to MTAC, whilst Riatsila and I drove a rented Tahoe to CoastCon. (We OWNED I-59. the gas stations OWNED us. Dear friends at Enter*rise...when I say "minivan", I mean minivan.) Oh, and the names are anagrams...the kids are not New Age freakchildren.

M & L drove the Aardvan...which died just over halfway to Nashville. Gearshift cable snapped.
Her brother rescued her, as we were past Birmingham on our travels. She made it, and we have another satisfied Convention t-shirt customer. Thanks M&L.

CoastCon did not go as well for us, but we surely did better than if we'd stayed at home watching the "Green Acres" marathon all weekend.

Oh, and GG goon stayed and minded the shop. Attaboy goon!

(Please include GG in your prayers...he is having numerous tactical assults from the enemy,
including back and sciatic nerve problems.)

Dealing with insane t-ball families just adds to the local color. Has ever a 4-year old actually gone up to his parental units and uttered the words (in a pwecious Baby Snooks voice):

"MommyDaddy, I wanna pway t-ball this summer."

No, I didn't think so...

Summer ball leagues (beyond t-ball) for the little ones are a bit troubling, too.
Here is the definition of FUN: putting small children into HOT polyester uniforms, in molded, plastic-foam-padded helmets, in the Summer sun, while grownups behind chain-link fencing yell at them, and curse the umps. Ahhh, sportsmanship....

Anyway, the Aardvark returneth, with more


Wednesday, March 24, 2004

See what happens when you don't go to church!
Various automotive travails put me a couple of hours behind schedule today, and in order to be able to continue my business, I had to load up screens and biodegradable chemicals and drive north to Ardmore to use their most excellent car wash to reclaim outdated screens. I coat 'em and reuse 'em to print NEW designs. This time of year begins OUR "Christmas season", business-wise. Ball uniforms, convention shirts, spring festival shirts...like that.

I got to the carwash, and...well, let's just say that tonight I feel a kinship with our "Rainbow brethren". As the preacher Marshall Keeble said when queried about referring to everyone as Brother or Sister: "I has 'em in Adam, or I has 'em in Christ."

...got to the carwash, unloaded the stuff, and set to work. As is my wont, I had the back of the van open so that I could hear the CD. Towards the end of my task, I noted two yout's hanging around near the street. I shut the washer off, and got ready to load everything up. I had been listening to the "No Disc" soundtrack from Cowboy Bebop. Now, for the uninitiated,
Bebop is a Japanese anime series about space "cowboys", or bounty hunters. Done in a noir style, it is action-driven, and awash with testosterone. It is scored with a tasty jazz and blues buffet, with some very medieval and
madrigal-ey bits thrown in as garnish. When I turned off the washer, it was to the madrigal part.
"La, La, lalalalalaaa..."
The two stalwarts noted earlier had slouched beyond eye-shot, but I heard them exclaim ere they moved out of sight:

"Hey, yo, FAGGOT"!

I was amused...a bit. I thought for a moment, and called out cheerily

"You'd better tell my wife and four kids!"

Now, I must be frank, and say that I DID feel a brief thrill of fear. I mean, I REALLY hoped that my love of anime would not lead to my being dragged behind some rusty pickup.

I REALLY wanted to yell "Why? Are you LOOKING for one?"

It would be nice to be judged by the content of one's character, rather than by the contents of one's CD player.

Anyone want to bet how they are schooled? Vox? ANyone?

Monday, March 22, 2004

If you are offended at my quoting accurately from an email I received, DO NOT READ THIS.

Jene Kourtney 04:48 AM 3/23/2004 +0600 7 u r stupid dumbass if u pay retail pri-ce for softwares
(From an email that I received this morning)

Something else before I eat an Atkins-friendly breakfast- read eggs fried in butter- and get to work:
I am ALWAYS charmed when sales types who are trying to extract money from me call me a stupid dumbass. It ALWAYS provokes an instant desire in me to open my wallet. Really. I think that I may do some Aardvark Screenprinting radio spots with this tactic, because there must be scads of customers who would respond in a similar positive fashion. >Angela Anaconda voice< "Get your team uniforms at Aardvark Screenprinting" I will tell them,
"or you will be a stupid dumbass." All this creativity I have WASTED for years, when this simple, direct approach can pry the shekels from their clutching digits.

I mean, WHO wants to be an SDA?

(And yes, I tried the asterisk trick. You would know what it said, anyway, so there is NO point in disguising a letter-or-two)
Besides it made me look like a st*pid dumb*ss.
Y'know, homeschooling has some real perqs. I mean, besides lessening government school propaganda sluicing away the little grey cells. If you'll pardon my being pedantic, homeschool field trips are wa-a-a-ay cool! Momoovark and the two youngers are going to Birmingham to visit the Golden Flake plant, the wellspring of so many bags of sodium-glutted goodness in the Dread Mart of Wal's cunningly named "salty snacks" aisle. Alabama is to Golden Flake as Bert Lahr is to Lays. These kids will be watching the Very Merchants of Doom ply their lipidous trade, breathing air which alone will cause weight gain. Golden Flake. O, to be Young again. Stupid Atkins...

Then they get to go to the Birmingham Zoo, where they will experience Smells of Another Sort. Don't forget to dodge at the orangutan cage...errrrr, HABITAT. The old one is a sharpshooter.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Part of my business involves making buttons, not of pearl or tortoise shell or chintz, but of metal parts, plastic, and snarky sayings. THOSE buttons! Here's one of our latest models:

Let the
be your

Maybe the 'net is still worth something.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Judgment...what a currently under-rated commodity. There MUST be something good in it, because the folks who never pick up a Bible even to use it as a paperweight ALL know a verse: "Judge not, lest ye be judged". Out of context, with no thought as to the Speaker's intent, but yah, they know the verse! Yet, if the REST of the Bible is to be considered, we are all called upon to make judgment daily: "Am I acting in LOVE toward this person?" "Should I speak thusly...?" Even "Red tie or paisley tie?". We must CONTINUALLY make judgment to get through life.
Perish forbid that we should push the envelope and judge Jeffruy Daumer's alternate eating-style, but here goes:

I heard on the radio today that Paris Hilton was trodden upon by a horsie. She was not injured badly- for which I really am thankful. I wish her no ill. But it brought up an old train of thought. She was on the horsie as part of a Simple Life 2 series shoot. >ACK< Another one we needed?!? But I thought of her, and the Ritchie chickie, and the phrase that keeps popping up in my conversations also came to mind.

Waste of skin.
Waste of (notta lotta) skin.

What does she offer to the world in exchange for life and breath? She poses, and simpers, and can't even survive a day WORKING AT SONIC!!! Apparently she can't even pay adequate attention during...um....close encounters. Self absorbed.

Pray for Paris. Really. She needs Reality to fill her life. Not another reality show.

Friday, March 19, 2004

Just to clarify matters, gentle readers, I am an essentially lazy person. At the very least, a slave to convenience. If you are a Faithful Follower of the Way of the Aardvark (insert Bruce Lee sounds here), then I should tell you that after an initial micro frenzy of linking to the few blogs which I was acquainted with at the time, I stopped. Why? I had links! I did not need a link list to rival the NY phone directory. Shucks...I have enough trouble just doing my OWN posts. (Five a week. Riiiiiight) So please do not feel slighted if you are not on the Aardvark's list. You're not being shunned. Or ignored.

I just haven't done it.

'Cos I'm too lazy to push a "Link to this" button.

How sad am I? Tragically sad.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

How bizarre is this? I answered the questions as honestly as one could given the choices, though if you have seen two chop-socky movies you can easily tailor your answers. I guess I have comedy in my soul...

Click to take the quiz!
click here to find out which Asian action superstar you are!

You are Jackie
Chan! You like to take risks. You live for the moment. You are a thrill-seeker.
At heart, you're a really nice person.

You are funny, charismatic and full of energy. Although sometimes your goofiness
gets you into trouble, your

drunken boxing skills are fabulous! Just bring a pot of rice wine with you.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Wow! what an intolerable hiatus. I had a VERY busy week preparing for a Starfleet Summit. I am not a member...something like a Ferengi-at-Large. Starfleet? Think of the Rotary Club in Trek uniforms. They are a civic group formed around the kernel (please note that I did NOT say "nut") of the Star Trek universe. They raise money for charity, do PR work for recruitment, and generally have a good old time...with a twist of Vulcan. I have been friends with a couple of Starfleeters for 9 years, and have printed shirts for their local club (or "ship"}, as well as for their regional conferences. Large fun.

The 7-hour drive to the Summit afforded me a chunk of time in which to ruminate.

* Are turn signals now offered only as an option?
* Are the other drivers telepathic adepts, and I'm just missing their intentions?
* Does NO-ONE teach common courtesy anymore?
* Why am I sounding like Andy Rooney?

ALL local municipalities need to do is to tag the scofflaws who refuse to use a turn signal (and so endanger the public),
and there would be no need to raise property taxes, no need to pass new taxes. Let those who insist on to being rude and dangerous in their driving pay for the privilege.

And please note, too, that I said LOCAL, not FEDERAL.

Monday, March 08, 2004

jet: "
I am Jet.
I am sensible and commanding. I find myself constantly taking care of those around me. I have an artistic soul. I've had my share of troubles and heartbreak, but I am strong and mature. I'm usually all work and no play. I'm a loving person, but I'm definitely not one for sentimentality.
Which space cowboy are you?
Visit SelectSmart.com

Friday, March 05, 2004

NOTE: This is not one of the threatened "Big 2" posts. You'll know. ENJOY!

And then I put my finger on it. The problem. THAT problem.
Lookit, If I join the Lions Club, I sign up to the PURPOSE of the Club. The Lions sell brooms,
lightbulbs, and do other fundraising for the blind. THAT is the Purpose. The Meetings are not the purpose.
The meetings are to pass on intel, plan strategy, and provide the tools necessary to the Purpose.

It appears that the Church-at least in some quarters- has made an error. For years, the Meeting has been the focus
of interest; what we do, what we shouldn't do, who's in, who's not. Like that. Folks, CHURCH is not the PURPOSE.
Our assembling on the first day of the week, as the apostles and disciples gave example, is to enable and equip us to
fulfill the purpose:

Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

The Lions don't wait for people to walk into their meetings in order to buy their wares. The Lions go from business to business, and set up in the marketplace to accomplish their fine goal.

Perhaps the Christians and the Lions have more in common than is commonly believed!
I am hopelessly behind the times. While I'm certain the fact impinged upon my little grey cells before, I realised last night that there was a NEW "Star Search" series on telly.
The advert crowed that the previous series launched the careers of "Ray Romano and Britney Spears".


Thursday, March 04, 2004

LSDiamond's Den: "If you only knew the power of the dark side.
Postatem obscuri lateris nescitis.
'You do not know the power of the Dark
Side.' There are two possibilities: you
are a Star Wars geek, or you are unreasoningly

Which Weird Latin Phrase Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla"

Monday, March 01, 2004

This was originally posted to the "Black_Rock_1" e-group dedicated to fans of the marionette series "SUPERCAR". Maybe it will be helpful to you to suss out where I come from. If it matters!

Hi, gang.

I am not of the bent where I bare my soul at the drop of a hat, as is the wont of American popular culture nowadays. However, as this is specifically ‘Supercar’ related, I believe that it will add to the discussion, perhaps renewing the human element of our fandom, besides the fun technobabble of which we are so fond.

The time: The *early* 60s. I grew up in a black and white world. I remember falling down out of my crib, trying to climb out and pad into the living room to sneak a chance to watch "The Millionaire". Well, falling out of my crib enabled me to see at least *some* of "The Millionaire" on my Momma's lap! I lived with my mother, who was divorced. ! was the eldest of one.

Another early TV memory was of a series called "The Man and the Challenge" starring George Nader. (If anyone else remembers this series, please speak up!) B & W "Bat Masterson" episodes are amongst my memories, as well as the first SF and fantasy movies that I recall: "It Came From Beneath the Sea" (that *is* the Harryhausen flick with the giant octopus, right?), and "The 5000 Fingers of Dr T", written by Dr. Seuss himself (Most memorable was the combining of various household liquids and things found in a kid's pocket to enable their escape.).

Long about this time, something wondrous came into my life. You might even say "marvel-ous". I discovered ‘Supercar’ on early Saturday morning TV. So intense and immediate was my devotion to this strange little show that I would wake up at the crack of dawn Saturday morning and endure 30-60 minutes worth of farm reports, and Porter Waggoner and his Chuck-Wagon Gang so as not to miss the beginning of ‘Supercar’.

I was completely taken by ‘Supercar’! At Playschool, there was a little yellow plastic spaceship amongst the toys that I would lay claim to as soon as I got there, so that I could play 'Supercar' with it. My mother had an alarm clock which broke, and which had a roll-top face cover. That became the Black Rock lab and its sliding roof doors.

Mindful of the lessons learnt from the Dr. T movie, I would mix cologne, water, dishwashing liquid and other benign household liquids into a 'potion' which I would take outside and pour on the ground in the rough shape of ‘Supercar’, whereupon I would invoke, with all the spiritual zeal a little boy could muster, a miracle, so that when I went outside the next day, there would be a full-sized ‘Supercar’ materialized upon the grass. Apparently, I didn't use enough mustard.

One of my most miserable memories as a child was having been sick with a fever and being very much on the mend Friday night. I asked my mother, who had enforced bedrest upon me, "May I get up and watch 'Supercar' in the morning?" She answered in the negative, but I woke up at my customary time anyway, and lay in bed, whimpering with a combination of frustration and fear. Frustration in that I felt absolutely fine, and fear because even though I felt fine enough to get up, I knew that I would not feel entirely fine if I did so in disobedience to Momma.

No longer a single-parent family: my mother, who had been divorced, married a wonderful man who wrote ripping good children's poetry, alas, none published, and most destroyed in a house fire. For a series of months, perhaps a year or two, (time is not reckoned the same by the young) we had a virtually idyllic life, and of course, there was ‘Supercar’, a fixture of my week.

Well, one day, mother didn't get out of bed. She was crying, and very obviously in pain, and was taken to hospital. Things like that happen, and my stepfather and I 'bached it' until Friday night, when I was invited over to a friend's house to stay the night, and Saturday. To this day, I cannot recall the friend's name. Saturday morning came, and we played with my friend's Bat Masterson cane - it fired caps, and lo, I managed to have a close encounter with a mud puddle, and was an extremely messy little boy. So, his mother took me back to my house to get a change of clothes. Wow! There were cars everywhere, and I thought, "Neat! Momma's come home, and they're having a party!" So, with all being right in the world, I sat on the lap of an apparently familiar lady who was sitting in my customary chair, and I turned on, what else? ‘Supercar’!

Supercar was over, and my stepdad invited me back to the inner sanctum of his and Momma's room, where I learned that there was no party, that in fact, my mother had died, and this was the 'apres funeral' get-together. (I do not share this to instigate discussion and critique over the rightness or wrongness of how they handled dealing with me about my mother's death, and frankly would appreciate absence of commentary on this point. All parties have made their peace, and were going by the best light that they had.)

The Earth continued to turn, but within a week, it turned topsy-turvy, for you see, my stepfather had not legally adopted me yet. Who would think to rush such a thing? He and Momma and I had a lifetime together to look forward to. In swept my "bio" father and his parents. Through legal finaglings, I went to live with them. So in essence, I lost my entire family in the space of a week.

But you know what? Saturday came, and I turned on the television, and there was ‘Supercar’. Not to sound maudlin or to place too much importance to a kiddie puppet show, but in the middle of a life completely turned over in a brief time, I found ‘Supercar’ to be a steady influence, a constant in an overwhelmed little life. Nor do I wish to speak of a TV show in the hushed fervor with which many speak of their relationship with Christ, but I do know that God often uses the weak things, the small things, the childlike things, to help in time of need. I would attribute to ‘Supercar’ the title of a 'tool' which helped a sad, confused and confounded little boy find a bit of stability. (The writings of Anderson, Fennell, and the Brothers Woodhouse are quite good, but I do not think of them as apostolic! :^) )

I also discovered a bounty! Channel 13 ran an episode at one time, and when that was over, I could change to Channel 10 and catch a (usually) different episode there!

This is the 'why' of the place that ‘Supercar’ has held in my life for 40+ years. Stripping away the emotional attachment, I find still that it is my favorite of the Anderson sagas. The writing is mature, witty, and does not condescend. The technical aspects of the series are fresh, and while improvements were made over the ensuing years, well, it seems as though the team had "lost its first love", and what had been an act of creation itself became, over time, a job. But these are subjective critiques.

While the Supermarionation works are not perfect (my kids and I all get the giggles upon seeing the cable that yanks Supercar out of the water, or seeing the shadow of the smoke against the "sky" background in the Fireball XL5 openings), they are done with excellence.

This is my story. It is not meant to depress, but to show how even seemingly trivial things can add up to give life meaning and worth...or at least decorate it a bit. This story is yours. I still love ‘Supercar’, and am thankful for it.

Perhaps some of you have stories...

Full boost!

OK, guys, I am working on a couple of blogs which will probably get spread around. They will not be what they appear, and I ask that when you read the next couple of major entries, please DISENGAGE the past 20 years of poli-cor-speak. The words I use will be what they MEAN. No shades or angles.

Piquing your interest?

The very NEXT post is a reminiscence of a favorite show from my childhood.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

LILEKS (James) Welcome!

James Lileks owes me for a hernia operation.
Not THAT kind of hernia. I was perusing his multitudinous offerings last night, and doggoned if he didn't cause me SERIOUS hurt.
I hurt myself laughing. There are few sites online which provide such a wealth of merriment. Be warned, though. you MUST wrap your abdomen with ace bandages.
Otherwise you will endure the pain of pleasure!

The REALLY neat thing about his ever-burgeoning collection is that it endures. When I first found his "Gallery of Regrettable Food" several years ago, I hurt myself laughing.
Laughed until I stopped. I shopped his site last fall for ideas- wound up buying the book "Regrettable Food" for a Christmas present- and I hurt myself AGAIN! The man is implacably evil!

The site would carry a PG rating, but with careful handling you can enjoy 'most all of it with your family.

James Lileks, MY lawyer will call YOUR lawyer in the morning! "Money for my pain and suffering."
...but thanks for all the giggles!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

First, a disclaimer. I am NOT dealing with the phony dichotomy of "Pietism vs. Activism". I am dealing with the phony bill of goods sold to the church to render it "relevant". So, that being said...

Every hour that "the church" spends marching, arguing on chat shows, or writing political activist tomes, is an hour not spent on discipling the nations.

Ancient Rome was a slave-keeping society. It was a natural and intrinsic part of the Roman economy. Jesus, Peter, and Paul really missed an opportunity to inform Poor Benighted Believers of the effectiveness of marching in the streets demanding rights and attention from the Unwashed Heathen. Yet, they did not instruct the Christians to march in the streets condemning the practice of slavery. Discipleship abolished slavery in the Roman empire. How can I call "slave" whom I also call "brother"? The early Christians did NOT march- unless it was to the Coliseum. They instead CHANGED THE WORLD. One heart at a time. As the Word of Christ conquered the empire with His love, slavery became an increasingly untenable option.

This is not to say that individual Christians may not be political, vote, or run for public office- or become butcher, baker or teeshirt maker. But individuals are not the Church. WE are the Church, and WE have a higher and specific calling.

Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

That, children, is how we change the world. Every thing else is second best, at best.

Here endeth the lesson.
This site is certified 68% GOOD by the Gematriculator

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Well, folks, I've been blogged out this week. Vanity, and striving after wind, and now I have my second. (Was that a zuegma?)

Oh, boy, The Passion of the Christ comes out on my birthday. I will NOT be likely to see it this week, though.
I have been ruminating on the debacle in the media, and have realised a horrific fact. We True Believers have NOT done our job well.
At all.

Pundits, wags and whiners are weighing in on this Jesus business, and to a man seem to be shocked and amazed by the idea that He had something to do with the Jews. Hmmmmm, born in Bethlehem...bar mitzvah-ed in Jerusalem...best friends in Bethany...crucified in Jerusalem...YEP, the Gypsies done 'im in!

Now, evangelicals, to a man, defend the baptised paganism we wrap in Holly and Ivy and call Christmas, defend it as a jolly tool for evangelism, a time when the most jaded heathen can look up and unabashedly shed a tear at the Little Baby Jesus. (No Scrooge, I, as I ADORE the Christmas Season with all its trappings. It's just that Scripturally speaking, Christmas isn't exactly kosher.) Back to the Jews.

Jesus was a Jew. He claimed to be the Messiah, the Son of God- and proved it with a life that fulfilled SO MANY prophecies about Himself that NASA computers get puffed figuring the odds. This after the Jewish political and "spiritual" leaders had declared it a capital crime to make such a claim. The Roman Occupation had outlawed the locals' death penalty. Only the Empire could execute criminals. Ah, the Judeo-Roman connection!

All this, and Jesus died for our sins, too! Shed His blood and everything. For us.

Why don't they know the story?

Why don't they know about Jesus?

All the World REALLY knows about Jesus is that His followers are a whiny, politically ineffective lot. (What Issue have we truly won on in recent memory?) Sounds like we've done a GREAT job, guys!

Thank God for Latinate Mass-loving Mel Gibson. Very CATHOLIC Mel Gibson. He's takin' the heat for the rest of us.


Saturday, February 14, 2004

It is disturbing when a tall, cadaverous man walks into my shop and gets a twinkle in his eye. It's like an undertaker saying
"I'm looking forward to seeing you again." I was printing shirts for a local band when a local Baptist minister came in. He is a great guy, but conversations with him redefine "eternity". While he was chatting -and keeping me from my work ( I don't multitask well)- Lurch strode in. I recognised him, noted the handful of fanfold he clutched, and continued my chat.
He looked at my new conveyor dryer, which is big enough to cook a pizza (don't ask...JUST KIDDING OSHA!) and I swanee,
his eyes lit up as he commented about the nice new big piece of equipment. He then was drawn into a conversation with the preacher. As I said, I recognised Lurch, and so we both settled into an uncomfortable wait until our Baptist friend took his leave. We had business to conclude.

You see, The Tall One is an agent of the local tax office. He was gentleman enough to not talk business in the presence of others. He was there to remind me of a small amount of tax I owe the County. No threats, no trouble, just makin' the
rounds. The rub lies with what it IS.

The tax is on "Personal property used for business". The mechanic must pay tax on the wrenches he uses, the baker must pay tax on his kneading bowl, the plumber on his Friend. The Tax guy first met me on a cold February day a couple of years ago after he discovered my little storefront whilst trolling for new business. A man I never met before came into my shop and informed me that I owed his office money. I must not only pay taxes on the money I earn, but also on the tools I use to earn my living. I was inwardly infuriated. I was given a form to list the items in my shop, with their estimated value.

As nice as this gentleman is- and I have reason to believe that he is a fellow believer- he could not disguise his joy on seeing my new $3000+ dryer.

I seethe.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

I have two things to share today: A bit of nostalgia, and a Dark Secret.

I really MISS "The Ed Sullivan Show". Really. Topo Gigio-the little Italian Mouse, Senor Wences, Belgian circus performers spinning plates on poles...and the COMICS. Especially the Borscht Belt comics, those vaudevillian masters ov yiddishkeit who brought an oddly foreign-yet-familiar flavor to their humor:.Alan King, Myron Cohen; and Jack Carter, f'rinstance. Myron Cohen, a fine Irish name...I REVELLED in his stories: bizarre, convoluted, and unique in their comic logic. Which leads me to my Dark Secret.

I really do NOT like "King of the Hill". I find it crude, tacky and needlessly ugly. It is "Beavis and Butthead" Lite, and I TRULY do not enjoy B&B, but my terrible little secret is:

I was Bobby Hill.

I was a chunky, crewcut blond elementary school kid, with a penchant for class clowning. Today, I would be drugged beyond caring on Ritalin; back in the early 60s, I got a desk near the teacher. At recess on Monday, I would regale my classmates with the tales I learned from Cohen and Co. "I like privacy!!" (My father and grandmother would be irked when I did stuff like that at home:"If you studied your lessons the way you study that foolishness...") I loved the cadence, the accent, the PUNCHLINES!
Most of all, I loved the laughter. I remembered every line, every gesture, and I'm SURE that few if any of my classmates got it. But we all laughed. I will not debate that some of it may have been AT rather than WITH -I was, after all, the chunky kid who had to sit near the teacher- but it was laughter.

A merry heart doeth good like medicine. If I can keep the laughter up, I'll live FOREVER!
50% of me is a huge nerd! How about you?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Yeah, I know, I did an internet quiz. But I'm a MAN, and my reason is
Harrumph Harrumph
58% Of The Internet Loves Me!
I am loved by 58% of the population, including:
2024 people who love quiz takers
2374 people who love short people
2282 people who love bloggers
In return, I love 93% of the population, including:
2865 people who like cake
1358 tall people
3288 women
show the love at spacefem.com
Rein it in, Bucko. Whilst musing in the shower, and being overcome by my cleverness, I hit upon a new thread. I've got a lot of 'splainin' to do.

The title of this paean to vanity is "The Plumbline". The name derives from a simple tool used to determine the true perpendicular from the ground. Masonry workers use it to see if the wall they are building is straight up-and-down.
The Old Testament prophet Amos refers to this tool:

Amos 7:7-8, "Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand. And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:"

God was going to measure Israel against the unchanging standard of the line. The ULTIMATE point of this blog is to measure our culture against God's standard: His Word and His righteousness. But I want do do so with a degree of subtlety.

I have a favorite Playstation game: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. The graphics, THE MUSIC!!
One of the weapons in the game is what appears to be a 25-pound King James Bible on a long chain. Cry "Havok", and let slip the Bibles of War! Whilst I do not wish to batter you, my Gentle Readers, about the head and shoulders with a 25 pounder, I will not shy from citing Scripture where required:

Romans 1:16, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

See, I dood it. I do NOT intend this to be Internet Bible Time, however. There are many such resources online, and I do not intend to reinvent the wheel which so many have squared so ably- but that's ANOTHER issue. My opinions for the most part are informed by my faith. To paraphrase:

"I'll show you my faith BY my blogs."

And have a good rollick on the way.

What an intellectually incestuous group we have here. We GOTTA get more readers, people, or we're doomed to playing Pingu, and linking to each other, and taking goofy tests. OOH-OOH! I have bouncing HAPPY FACES on MY blog.

Hey, I'm comin' off of a two-day emotional bender, so cut me some slack, jack! Two glorious fun-filled Seasonally Affected pull the covers over my head days. Sometimes I really love my life!

If I were my boss, I'd fire me.

Oops. My boss heard that. Bad vibe. No Vermont Teddy Bear for HER!!!

Isn't the SPIKE network a class act? I mean, their VTB commercial (sounds like an STD, duddn it?) with a VO by Adam Carrolla - I tol' you it was a class act! - shows the highest broadcast standards. Really. "The gift that keeps giving and giving...so YOU'LL keep getting and getting!" That Love sentiment should surely be put on a book-mark. I'll mark 1st Corinthians 13 with it. That's the ticket! Lessee..."It's bigger than I thought...I want to kiss it and kiss it..." Sounds like background chatter at a PlushieCon.

I LIKE manic!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

A COPPER Dragon Lies Beneath!

My inner dragon color is COPPER. Click here to try the Quiz!

My inner dragon is the mighty warrior of dragon-kind. I don't play silly head-games or use fruity magic, I stick to the basics: big muscles and lots of flame. Wipe that smirk off your face, pal. Click the image to try the Inner Dragon Online Quiz for yourself.

Monday, February 09, 2004

Vox Popoli
I finally remembered the rantlet I had in mind.

Where in bonny blue blazes did the word "prophesized" come from? The earliest I can find a media usage of it is in the movie "Army of Darkness". It has become a Hollywood mainstay, now.

When you check out at the New Age bookstore, does the crone at the counter ask "You want me to Prophesize that for 25 cents more?" ?

The word is "PROPHESIED".

It had to be said.
Yes, I love the internet. Since 1996, and 14.4 modems, I have loved the 'net; back when every URL was a new discovery, and each web search unearthed untold treasures, and HTML was as mystical as speaking in tongues. Journey with me now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, before searches for "dominion theology" yielded sites full of people in odd black costumes, when search engines were egalitarian, unsullied by ranking for dollars. Back, way, way back when surfing the Web....was FUN!

Now, I'm just tired. Weary of searches yielding what someone pays them to yield, drive-by home page hijackings and the endless parade
of scum and villainy, where one MUST be cautious. Tired of email filled with offers to enlarge my penis {not necessary}, enlarge my breasts (I could make money with a webcam, but no...), enlarge my social circle (not wanted), and subject lines that read like a pentecostal on crack.

Thank God for blogs. Now I can navigate an endless river of whines, rants, jackleg punditry, bad spelling and self- absorption. And that's just MINE...But seriously, folks, you're a great audience, and an even BETTER entertainer.
I enjoy the wit and insight which shines like gold dust in a riverbed. Fellow bloggers, I raise a glass of homebrewed Nutmeg Lager in salute. Well played!

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Gad! This blogging thing is taking on a bizarre life of its own. One blog leads to another, then another, then i've GOT to comment on THAT blog. Did anyone comment on MY blog, and do I need to ANSWER it? It's a O-Cs nightmare come true!

The best laid plans often fall to the "Tyranny of the Immediate". I can't do what I have to do, because I have to do what I have to do! Too much to do. Blogging is IMPORTANT, though. Informative. Therapeutic. Fun, even.

The biggie is, if I have anything helpful to share, anything of Truth, anything edifying or instructive, then it behooves me to MAKE the time to share.

'Course, if it's just bafflegab, then what's the point?
How SAD is Yahoo? Specifically, Yahoo Auctions? I have had our most popular current designs up for 51/2 days, 19 auctions, and I have a whopping 13 hits. Not bids, hits. I have 18 auctions up on eBay. They have been up for about 23 hours, and already there are 72 hits. The bad news is: eBay KNOWS it's good, and has raised its rates accordingly. Now, I'm a laissez faire man myself, a rabid free marketeer, but even I can recognise greed when I see it!

Speaking of shameless commerce, a current selection of shirts we produce may be found at:


I am a purveyor of embellished sportswear ( "See, Marge, I TOLD you he was a purv..."},
and am a recipient of the mixed blessings of NAFTA. Don't tell your local screenprinter that I told you, but t-shirt prices have been stable for around 5 years. There have been other costs involved which have gone up, but shirts have remained much the same price. The other costs have necessitated our raising prices a bit, an act which I perform with great difficulty, but come ON, I looked at a printed price list from a decade ago, and our basic prices HAD NOT CHANGED!

How sad is THAT?

BUT, I used to be able to crow to my customers "We use American-made shirts!". While semantically it is still true (Central AMERICA...) It is no longer the case in the sense my customers wish to hear. My shirt labels now echo the contents of my
humidor: Dominican Republic, for example. The world, it is a-changing, and like it or not, "Norma Rae" is keeping our domestic manufacturers from competing in the world market.

OH! My sweet wife came up with this gem of wordplay in response to listening to NPR:

"If you want the country on the right track, you don’t elect a leftist."


Monday, February 02, 2004

I did NOT see Janet Jackson's breast Sunday night. Blessed am I among men.
However, I got an EARFUL of her breast on Monday morning. Don'tcha love talk radio? Glenn Beck, who is an Old Time Radio aficionado, put on a little Theatre of the Mind bit on his show, with the on-the-spot announcer ultimately reporting
that the entire stadium audience suffered catastrophic "wardrobe failure". Apparently Justin Timberlake did not have enough hands to go around.
The march of Bad Taste rolls ever on. I grew weary of boycotts in the 90's when Conservative Christendom was flexing its
collective muscles, but I could handle losing CSI just to poke my finger in the all-seeing CBS eye. MTV, well, what can you say? Daria's not on anymore.

Talk Radio has done more to LIMIT participation in the system than any other thing in society. If I listen to Limbaugh or Boortz, I have participated in the process. I feel as though I have Done Something. I've been "eddicated".
If I CALL IN, well, I've really done something. I've shared my mind with the masses. My energy has been spent, whether by venting my spleen on-air, or by doing so at the radio in my shop. I'm a bit tired after all that bebotherment to do anything substantive or practical, like write to my congressmen, or actually pass out Fair Tax info.
Rush refers to his show as a never-ending course of study. Unfortunately, I am not called to be a Professional Student.
My Boss says that I must be salt in the world. While I am not equating such political ideas with the Faith, my faith MUST inform all areas of my life, including Public Policy. Thus, as a friend once said, "There is a time to be in the shaker, and a time to be in the soup.". Mmmmmmmmmm, salty.....

Sunday, February 01, 2004

There is a problem. How do you present an idea compellingly and WELL?

Taxes, specifically INCOME taxes, are inherently wrong. Other writers have documented the inequities and Sheriff-of-Nottingham dastardies of the tax system far better than could I. For the Powers to seize what I have worked for by threat of harm, and give it to ones who did not expend their effort- beyond voting for a jackass in the booth- is a morally bankrupt act. Theft of the most egregious sort.

"Look, Marge, HE's a kook, too!"

Now, I know that the Income tax is putatively legal, and we shall examine Shakespeare on lawyers perhaps at another time, but to trumpet that "The Income Tax has been constitutionally passed by amendment to the Constitution.", when the Constitutions Framers provided other means of funding the government (Tariffs and duties, f'rinstance), while OPPOSING the concept of directly taxing one's income is to me much like proclaiming Theft and Adultery to be moral should Readers Digest Condensed Books edit the 10 commandments down to the Top 8.

There are several alternate- and constitutional- tax plans out there. I favor the Fair Tax.

Here is the problem: I hear a LOT of tax talk, and a lot of talk radio, and well, all it is is TALK. Period.
I want to know HOW to deal with things like the fair tax (which would ABOLISH the IRS!) without sounding like a CRANK!

Because most of the anti-tax crowd sound like cranks.

Even more, how do we get actual ACTION started? Because all I hear is talk.

Dr. Miller, my environmental science prof. in college, posits that there are four stages of human action:

No talk / no do.
Talk / no do.
Talk / do.
No talk / do.

We are currently at stage two.
How can we move to three?

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Dante's Inferno Test - Impurity, Sin, and Damnation

Here is an amusing test to take, based upon the 1300's vision of Hell by Dante.
While this is NOT canonical, it does provide a fascinating look at the shift in mores over the past 700 years.

SHUCKS, the shift in the past 40 years!

Hey Grrltechie...does THIS count?

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Herein lies the trouble with RESOLUTIONS: make one and Hell and Earth all conspire to get in your way!

I don't know if it's the FLU, or some anonymous virus trying to make a name for itself, but boy, I've been hit hard. The arm is all better, though. I've not had the oomph to sit and keyboard any coherent thoughts. Of course, incoherent raving does offer some entertainment value!

The good news is that having the epizoodic frees me to do what I love...to read a book at one sitting. I read Michael Crichton's PREY. Really enjoyed it, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was reading...A SCREENPLAY!. (well, DUH) I begin to suspect the I ching method of writing: you throw the sticks, and then write what they say. One character in particular was screaming "Nedry, NEDRY!!!" as I read. Mr. Crichton, Wayne Knight has lost weight. Let's move on to another techie stereotype.
Despite this, I found it to be a good read. The screenplay feeling reasserts itself as you read descriptions of the different phenomena the protagonists are seeing. I can almost hear the keystrokes of scores of CGI programmers as they create
the filmic images which Crichton evokes. The concept of nanobiotic devices is masterfully handled, and believably so.
I personally grow weary of "F-bombs" as a mechanism for portraying gritty realism, though.

Long story short: re-read The Andromeda Strain.

Oh, the resolution? Just to write 5 postings a week.


Sunday, January 18, 2004


Busy, busy, busy! What an amazing, PAINFUL week. Monday was good, but HUGELY busy. Tuesday, our new Real Screenprinter's Conveyor Dryer came. Crate was too big to fit through the door. We uncrated it, and three of us turned it on its side to carry it inside. I was the odd man (!) in the middle, supporting the boxy heating chamber. To move it in, I had to step across the pallet it shipped upon. As I did, I took a mis-step, and shifted my attention to my feet, instead of paying attention to the weight I was carrying. As the other two continued to move across the pallet, my right arm continued moving with them. AS I over-extended my reach, my bicep went >TWANG<, a sensation which I profoundly pray I never feel again. It felt like a bungee cord writhing and unravelling in my upper arm. Gamegod MADE me go to the doc, who gave me pills, a sling, and orders to take it easy,and rest the arm. Fine.

WEDNESDAY---I got an email from ChattaCon: "We have dealer tables for this weekend!" ACK!!! Gotta print shirts for the week-end, and me with a busted wing. I was a good boy. I didn't do anything with my arm...I COULDN'T, it hurt too much..
Gamegod and my son Noel printed. It worked. Huzzah!
More to come..........

Sunday, January 11, 2004

I swanee, despite my best efforts, I can't help but have SOME anticipation of the "Thunderbirds" movie next summer.
(Maybe the same dread anticipation of what you KNOW you'll see as you pass a head-on collision, but you rubberneck anyway.) This Aardvark has been a MAJOR fan of All Things Anderson since I was a li'l 'vark of 4-or-5. What kind of fan,
you ask? You know the funny way the marionettes walked? I do...er, DID that. How about that arms-hanging-at-the-end-of-wires movement when the puppets did stuff with their hands? Guilty. Of course, I have NORMAL things I do, like collecting the music, humming the music, collecting the DVDs, playing the DVDs, collecting the toys, playing with the...but I digress.

Jonathan Frakes is at the helm of the movie. That's OK. But the man NEVER SAW THE SHOW!
Gerry Anderson was not consulted until LATE in the process, and by that time was in a sufficient snit to desire to have nothing to do with the movie. All things to give one pause. But I've seen the trailer. IT IS GORGEOUS! I really want to see this movie. There will be more on this later. >clever ending pending<

Thursday, January 08, 2004

There is a risk here. To wit: turning this into a kvetch-fest, or a practise-session at being crotchety-and I don't EVEN look like Andy Rooney. The point of the first entry derives from the unprofessional way convention BUSINESS is run. Make NO mistake: running a SF con IS a business. Cons are fun, as are toy stores, amusement parks, and comics shops, but they are all businesses with the working and the paying and the buying and the glavin...
The hateful part is that as fun as the "D&D Tournament Model" appears to be, these young guys and gals are borrowing way more trouble than the fun is worth. "How?" my gentle readers cry! Because the REAL businesses will run far away: sponsors, and dealers like me. It can be argued that the Dealers' Room (or huckster room for the older vets) is the backbone of a convention. We dealers pay confiscatory prices for table or booth space, so that the con-goers can clutch, touch, rummage, thumb through, and ultimately BUY our wares, goodies which may not readily be had at Wally World or BigfatKmart, to the satisfaction of all. Many cons pick up extra bucks by selling Dealer Room Only passes to the Great Unwashed, from whom we, too, may extract some credits.
Why would we run? Because WE are running businesses, too. If the Con leadership is lackadaisical about little things like advertising, or having enough gopher help, or even bothering to answer email queries, then THIS little vertabra will see you at a con that takes it SERIOUSLY. If I'm not there, then MY dollars won't be either.
>HUMPH< Darn kids and their music...

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

Allrightythen! The Aardvark is online. Welcome to the Plumbline. Here is a mission statement: to hold our 21st Century culture up to the Standard, Canon, or Plumbline of TRUTH (and have fun doing it.) But, as that two-bit pseudo-intellectual Pontius Pilate asked, "What is Truth?".We shall explore that, as well.
Of course, this does not preclude the inevitable rants, the wallowings in vanity that fuel blogging universally: that hubris which assumes that anything I have to say is worthy of others' time and attention. Herein lies the key to Blogging: When I want your opinion, I'll give it!

I am a screenprinter by trade, a garment embellisher. One of our company's areas of expertise is 4-color process science fiction convention shirts. Con-sequently, I go to a LOT of SF cons. My wife and I have been attending them since Philcon 80. A horrible realisation has dawned, though. Sci Fi cons have gone downhill, catastrophically pelting down the slippery slope of mediocrity. They have become mass-media fora, where members trade their favorite parts of TV shows and movies:
"Remember when he..."
"Yeah, it was AWESOME when she said..."
"I thought it really blew when the creature..."
"I really HATE the theme song to..."
All the same movies, shows, quotes, costumes and backstories, served endlessly, smorgasbord-style.

(Unless you count the latest Star Wars epic, and the re-releases of classics as movie tie-ins.)

SF cons started as gathering places for authors and fans to meet and revel in the Bohemian nature of their mutual love for the fantastic, the maybe, and the ought-to. They were generally put on by professionals: lawyers, doctors, teachers, people with a measure of organisational and business acumen. The cons used to be run in a businesslike fashion, by men and women of maturity.
Now, "Welcome to the WORLLLLD of Tomorrow!". The Cons have gotten older, but the con-goers have gotten progressively younger. This is good for the membership numbers, bad for leadership. One southeastern con of which I am quite fond has had a wholesale jumping of ship by the >ahem< more experienced board members. They were too busy and too tired from Real Life to expend any more energy working at running a Not-For-Profit. The board is now peopled by a bunch of callow yout's, comparatively speaking. Running Sci Fi Conventions has moved from the Business Model to the D&D Tournament Model. "Who's bringin' the pizza?"
Here's the Truth part. The Olders need to show the Youngers how to do it. The Youngers need to be open to what the Olders can teach 'em. Here endeth the lesson. I've gotta go shake my cane at some kids on my lawn.